U. of Tennessee consortium awarded National Composites Manufacturing Institute contract

The long-awaited $70 million commitment from the US Department of Energy goes to a consortium led by the University of Tennessee's Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), which includes 122 partners who have promised an additional $259 million.

President Obama announced on Jan. 9 that the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN, US) will lead the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a $259 million public-private partnership. The Institute reflects a $70 million commitment from the US Department of Energy (DoE) and $189 million from IACMI's partners.

Supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Office in the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, IACMI joins four other institutes backed by the Obama administration in a recent push to accelerate advanced manufacturing.

The selected team, a 122-member consortium, connects the world's leading manufacturers across the supply chain with universities and national laboratories pioneering advanced composites technology development and research.

Established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in Tennessee by the UT Research Foundation, IACMI has received a $15 million commitment from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as part of an effort to facilitate breakthroughs in manufacturing and materials.

The Institute is regionally organized around five focus areas: vehicles (Michigan); wind turbines (Colorado); compressed gas storage (Ohio); design, modeling and simulation (Indiana); and composite materials and processing technology (Tennessee, supported by Kentucky).

"This project places the university and its partners in a unique position to strengthen Tennessee's economy," says UT chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. "We are very honored to have been selected for this role in shaping the future of composites manufacturing through IACMI. This will build upon our deep collaborations with our consortium partners and spark innovation and growth within our nation's industries."

IACMI includes founding partners in Tennessee (University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Colorado (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Indiana (Purdue University), Michigan (Michigan State University), Ohio (University of Dayton Research Institute) and Kentucky (University of Kentucky).

The Institute has received commitments from large charter corporate contributors such as those with critical connection to the automotive composites supply chain like Ford, Volkswagen, Dow Chemical Co. and DowAksa; premium members with national manufacturing impact like Boeing and Lockheed Martin; and small and medium enterprises like pultrusion specialist Strongwell Corp., and Local Motors, a leading 3D-printed car company. More than 90 companies across the supply chain support the project (see full list below) .

While advanced composites are used in selected industries such as aircraft, military vehicles, satellites and luxury cars, these materials remain expensive, require large amounts of energy to manufacture and are difficult to recycle. IACMI aims to overcome these barriers by developing low-cost, high-production, energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for the composites sector. The Institute will focus on reduces the overall manufacturing costs of advanced composites by 50%, reducing the energy used to make composites by 75% and increasing the recyclability of composites to more than 95% within the next decade. 

"This has brought together unprecedented commitment from state governments, industry and research institutions to develop the workforce, create jobs and increase global manufacturing competitiveness in advanced polymer composites," says new IACMI CEO Craig Blue, a joint Oak Ridge National Laboratory-UT faculty member. "Our state partners include the top five states for automotive employment and companies representing 70 percent of U.S. automotive manufacturing."

IACMI Consortium Members


  • A&P Technology Inc.
  • Adherent Technologies Inc.
  • Altair
  • Ashland Performance Materials
  • Assembly Guidance Systems Inc.
  • BASF Co.
  • Boeing Co.
  • Celanese International
  • Continental Structural Plastics
  • Convergent Manufacturing Technologies
  • Cytec Engineered Materials
  • Dassault Systemes Americas Corp.
  • Dow Chemical Co.
  • DowAksa
  • DuPont
  • ESI North America
  • Evonik Corp.
  • Faurecia US Holdings
  • Fives
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • GE Water & Power
  • Graco Inc.
  • GrafTech International
  • Heil Trailer International
  • Herty Advanced Materials Development Center
  • Hills Inc.
  • Honda R&D Americas Inc.
  • Huntsman Polyurethanes
  • IN3 Applications
  • Johns Manville
  • LayStitch Technologies
  • LM Wind Power
  • Local Motors
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Materials Innovation Technologies
  • McWhinney Real Estate Services
  • Michelman Inc.
  • Milacron Plastics Technologies Group
  • Momentive
  • North Coast Tool & Mold Corp.
  • Owens Corning
  • Phoenix Integration
  • PolyNEW Inc.
  • PolyOne Corp.
  • PPG Industries Inc.
  • SABIC Innovative Plastics US
  • Strongwell Inc.
  • Thogus Products Co.
  • Toray Composites (America) Inc.
  • TPI Composites Inc.
  • Vestas Americas
  • Volkswagen
  • Wetzel Engineering
  • Williams, White & Co.
  • Wolf Robotics LLC
  • Xperion

Universities and Laboratories

  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado State University
  • Iowa State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Purdue University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Colorado-Boulder
  • University of Dayton Research Institute
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Michigan
  • Vanderbilt University

Other Entities

  • Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI)
  • Abaris Training Resources Inc.
  • American Chemical Council
  • National Composites Center
  • Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium
  • Polymer Ohio Inc.
  • Southern Research Institute
  • Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade
  • Indiana Economic Development Corp.
  • Michigan Economic and Community Development
  • Ohio Development Services Agency
  • State of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
  • State of Tennessee
  • University of Tennessee Research Foundation

Consortia Members

  • Alcoa Inc.
  • 3M Co.
  • BioCycle LLC
  • Braskem America
  • BST Nano Carbon
  • Chomarat North America
  • Cincinnati Inc.
  • Concordia Fibers
  • Eaton Corp.
  • EWI
  • Fiber-Tech Industries Inc.
  • FibrTech
  • Global Wind Network (GLWN)
  • Harper International
  • Hexagon Lincoln
  • Ingersoll Machine Tools
  • Interlaken Technology
  • International Fibers Ltd.
  • Johnson Controls Inc
  • Koppers
  • Materia Inc.
  • Mentis Sciences Inc.
  • Michigan Molecular Institute
  • Nexgen Composites
  • NONA Composites LLC
  • Oerlikon Metco
  • OshKosh Corp.
  • Plasan Carbon Composites
  • PlastiComp
  • Quickstep Composites LLC
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • The Magni Group
  • Techmer ES
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.
  • United Technologies Research Center
  • XG Sciences